We'd Like to See: TV and I Have It Out
Today's cuppa: Yorkshire Gold tea (with French vanilla stevia sweetener -- hmmm)
Up to my deadline eyebrows today (but I will keep my promises about "Prison Break" and "Fringe" goodies to come), so in the meantime, here's this week's edition of my print column, "We'd Like to See," in which I try to have a rational conversation with TV.
On Saturday, Aug. 23, Hallmark Channel premieres "Dear Prudence," a movie starring Jane Seymour as a TV star/advice columnist who can fix everything except her own life.
I feel her pain, sort of. I give advice to network television all the time, and it just doesn't listen. I have much better luck fixing my own life based on TV suggestions -- for example, "Clean House" cured my lingering pack-rat-itis -- than getting television to change according to my wishes.
But hope springs eternal, so here's a brief, imaginary Q&A between myself (KO) and network television (TV). Feel free to play along at home -- and even send your ideas to the TV executive of your choice.
TV: Thanks for stopping by. I hope we can share some useful ideas.
KO: What share? I'm already getting ideas from you guys. It's just the reverse that's the problem.
TV: No need to get hostile. I'm here, and I'm listening. Bring it!
KO: First up, what's with those promos across the bottom of the screen? I tuned in to see the show, not to see promos for other shows. Save those for the commercial breaks.
TV: But you fast-forward the commercial breaks on the DVR...
TV: ...or you go to the bathroom, or you go make a sandwich. You foil our every effort to promote our other shows, so we have to stick the promos into the parts you actually watch.
KO: I still hate it.
TV: We'll tone it down, but get used to it. Next?
KO: Do you have to cancel everything I love?
TV: Get several million of your friends to love it, too, and it will stay on forever. We don't keep "Law & Order" because of all the bikini chicks in it. Zillions of people watch. We're not volunteer organizations. People expect to be paid.
KO: But some low-rated shows stay on for quite a while.
TV: Low-rated is relative to the size of the network. What's good for The CW won't work for CBS. Next?
KO: You move all my favorite shows around the schedule.
TV: I'd tell you to get a DVR, but I like our advertisers. We move shows to increase the audience or to free up space for a show we think has a greater upside. And moved is not the same as canceled. Be happy for small favors.
KO: There are too many commercials.
TV: Again, people expect to be paid. Give us a zillion dollars, and we'll stop selling ads for a while.
KO: May I remind you that I have a remote control and many digital tiers, and I'm not afraid to use them?
TV: Uh-huh...so, maybe we could talk again about those on-screen promos?